DAPHNE — Daphne plans to buy 8.5 acres near Bayfront Park to expand public access to Mobile Bay, city officials said.The Daphne City Council voted Monday, June 6 to accept $4 million in state …
DAPHNE — Daphne plans to buy 8.5 acres near Bayfront Park to expand public access to Mobile Bay, city officials said.
The Daphne City Council voted Monday, June 6 to accept $4 million in state funding through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, known as GOMESA, to buy property next to Bayfront Park. The grant agreement with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources stated that property being sought includes Infirmary Health System property.
Troy Strunk, Daphne city development director, said the property is one of several parcels being considered by the city to expand bay access.
"Daphne has identified Thomas Medical Center as a potential opportunity to buy and we are currently discussing that option with the Infirmary," Strunk said. "There are also seven or eight other parcels that we're looking at at this time because if that one doesn't work, we have to have other options."
Strunk said buying the property is part of a city plan for improvements in the area.
The council also voted Monday to give final approval to a plan to resume the Bayfront Park and streetscape improvements. The ordinance approved Monday allocated an additional $2.29 million for the project.
"Part of what you're seeing happen tonight with Bayfront Drive, the $2.2 million appropriation for roadway improvements along Bayfront, that's Phase 1," Strunk said. "Phase 2 is going to be that amphitheater that we're trying to get with RESTORE Act money."
Council members also voted in 2021 to set aside $1 million to build an amphitheater at Bayfront Park.
Strunk said the city also plans to build a shoreline boardwalk from the park north to Interstate 10. He said the overall plan is to give Daphne residents and visitors waterfront access that they do not now have.
"We want a public access." Strunk said. "We want Mobile Bay to be available to all of our citizens. We don't have that here in Daphne. Fairhope has a beautiful pier and a beautiful public space and Daphne doesn't have that. So, we're trying to make Bayfront Park a gateway for our residents."